Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Responsible parenthood

Missing Children: Should parents be charged?Several difficult issues have emerged in the wake of the brutal death of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. Should her parents, and others in their position, be charged for negligence? Were police slow in reacting in the 8-year-old’s case? How can children in danger seek help?The Nurin Jazlin Jazimin case has brought a rarely talked about issue into sharp focus: should parents be blamed when their children go missing?(cut)….An added dimension to the issue is the comment by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that the couple was under probe for negligence.

– quoted from an article published in the NST on 23rd September 2007 (link)

The much publicised tragedy of Nurin’s death brings to light a number of questions.

1. Should the parents be charged? Are they to blame?

No they should not be charged, not unless the government plans on also prosecuting the hundreds (or thousands) of parents who do let their kids out at night. The parents are partly to blame however. These are not safe times. They stated they only allow their children to go out in pairs, but how is that safe? The other sister who was to accompany Nurin was only a year older.

I remember reading about a case in the papers a few years ago where two couples stopped by the side of a road in Ampang and got out to enjoy the view. A while later two men on motorcycles showed up, forced the girls onto their motorcycles and rode off. The boyfriends tried to stop the two men but did not succeed. The girls were raped. When did all this take place? A little after 8.30pm, a time when many of us would think we are still safe. The two couples were all past 18 years of age yet they were still not safe.

There used to be a night market in Uptown on Saturday nights from about midnight until 3am. I remember seeing little kids wandering about the market in groups of 2-4. While the market was well lit, these kids had to walk thru some very dark areas to get there – isn’t that unsafe?

Lastly about four years ago I was stopping by Bangsar for a quick drink after 11pm. While looking for parking in the housing area I saw a little girl riding by on her bicycle, in her jammies. The street was very very dark, were it not for my headlights I might not have even seen her. I parked my car and noticed that other than the two of us nobody else could be seen. I hope nothing bad happened to her and that her night out on the bike was just a one time thing.

So if you are reading this, be aware that just because you walked around by yourself in your housing area as a kid does not mean its OK for your children to do so too. As parents we often raise our kids the way we were raised whether we are aware of it or not. If you have little children or girls even of high school age do try your best to ensure their safety. I am not being sexist by saying girls need more watchful parents, its just that women are generally believed to be weak and therefore easy prey.

2. Was it wrong to investigate the parents?

No it wasn’t, and this is something that members of the public fail to understand. Just because a child died does not mean his or her parents did not play a role. The police are right to suspect the parents, but the media should not have highlighted it because small minded people will believe the police are not looking into other possible suspects. Parents can harm their children you know. Having a child demanding your attention when you are exhausted from a long day of work can be quite taxing on the nerves – even worse when they start acting out. You may snap, lose control and beat your child. If self control doesn’t kick in then you really may go too far.

In light of the other two cases where girls were molested by a man on a motorcycle, I believe this crime to be the work of a serial killer/rapist. But as long as the possibility exists that the parents heard about the molestor and decided to use the same modus operandi to disguise an accidental death of their daughter – its got to be looked into! Its unpleasant to consider such things but it is part of responsible investigation.

3. Are the police to blame for not providing adequate protection?

Police can’t be everywhere. If cops patrolled every pasar malam in the country, there is bound to be some complaints by people feeling they are oppressed. I’d much rather have cops patrolling neighbourhoods looking out for break-ins instead of standing guard at night markets. Why last year the house two doors down from mine was cleaned out by robbers while the family was out for dinner. Imagine that, you go out for dinner at 8pm, get home an hour later and its cleaned out? Plus I am living in what is considered to be a safe neighbourhood and yet these crimes happen.

Think about how often you do see cops on the road whether walking or riding a bike or driving a car. We lack the number of responsible cops (i.e. cannot be bribed) it takes to keep public areas safe. Perhaps they are too busy doing surveillance on people who are perceived to be a threat to loyal Bunnies’ cushy lifestyle.

4. Was police reaction slow?

If there were no bulletins put up after the two previous similar molestation cases, then yes the police knowingly placed little girls in danger. Had Nurin’s parents known about this roaming molester they might not have let their children out at night even in groups. The police definitely screwed up big time by not sending out search parties for days, as reported in the article below.

Did the police wait too long before acting?

Did police wait too long before setting up a special unit to probe the disappearance of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin?

The 8-year-old went missing on Aug 20 and her parents lodged a police report the next day.

Police set up a special unit to look for the missing girl on Aug 27.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 23rd September 2007 (link)

Missing kids require immediate action to find them. Are the police so understaffed or just plain incompetent or both? 

I am sorry if I upset you, the reader by sounding like a police apologist. But I do believe that what I have said is sensible and true and people need to be better educated. For further reading about the Nurin case please read her uncle’s blog here.

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Written by ak57

September 24, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Local News

Tagged with ,

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